As he prepares for a Florida face-off next week with Mitt Romney, surging Republican presidential contender Newt Gingrich has more than doubled his media mentions. He has also become the most-Googled and searched-for candidate, while he and other Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney have each generated essentially an even split of positive and negative news coverage, with Romney leading in both categories.
According to the latest Project for Excellence in Journalism election report, last week (Jan. 16-22), both of those candidates received a similar volume of coverage and "far more" than any other candidate, which PEJ said represented a big jump for Gingrich from the week before. Before his big win in the South Carolina primary, only 25% of the campaign stories featured Gingrich. Afterward, that figure was over half (57%).
Gingrich has also become the most Googled candidate, both in videos downloaded on YouTube and whose name is searched for most often (as it was for this story).
Romney leads all candidates in the minus column with 35% of his coverage negative to 33% positive, a category he also leads, with the balance of the coverage tabbed "neutral" by PEJ content analysts. Gingrich is at an even 28% positive, 28% negative.
Ron Paul has the distinction of being the candidate with the most positive tone to his coverage, but also with the least coverage.
PEJ bases its tracking of volume of stores over 52 major national news outlets. A candidate gets credit for a story that features him or her at least 25% of the time.